Inspiration, advice and support for girls and women who want to cycle.

Over 40 women and girls attended a free, female only event at The University of Derby Enterprise Centre on the evening of Wednesday 26th February. The event was organised collaboratively by Love to Ride, Derby Cycling Group and Sustrans, and formed part of a wider campaign to encourage more women to cycle in Derby.

The evening began with talks from four inspirational speakers, who each gave a ten minute presentation. First up was Kate Ball on the topic of cycling with children. As a mother of four, a childminder and an everyday cyclist, she was well placed to share a wealth of knowledge, information and advice. Kate explained the different options available when transporting young children by bike, and how to then encourage them to become independent cyclists. Next to speak was Cath Rodkoff who began cycling in her forties, improving both her physical and mental health as a result. She now supports and motivates other women through her roles as a breeze champion (women only led rides) and as the founder of Nottingham girls cycle group. Cath’s presentation ended with a short film entitled ‘one in a million’, which was put together by British Cycling and is available to view on their website. Our third speaker was Tracey Fletcher who inspired the audience with her personal ‘cycling journey’ and how she pushed her physical and mental capabilities to compete in, and win, races. Tracey then explained how she went on to use her knowledge and skills, and give something back, through her role as a cycle trainer. Finally, Joss Winter, a Sustrans employee and cycle commuter, gave a presentation on route planning and cycling to work.  She gave practical tips and information to encourage and inspire women to find their way by bike and to begin riding rather than driving to work.

After a quick refreshment break the attendees split into four discussion groups: ‘cycling with children’, ‘confidence’, ‘practical tips’ and ‘route planning’. Questions were asked, information and knowledge were shared, and the feeling around the room was one of positivity and support. The topics discussed and fed back to the rest of the group, ranged from; teaching your children to ride, to finding the right saddle, to accessing led rides, to where to position your bike when riding on the road, to what to wear on a cycle commute, and so much more. 

Hopefully everyone left the event feeling inspired, informed and supported, and the feedback that we have received so far has been extremely positive.

Written by Cathy Tester

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